Man claims doctor and hospital negligent in spinal surgeries

Kelly Holleran Apr. 14, 2010, 5:56am

A man and his wife have filed suit against St. Elizabeth's Hospital of the Hospital Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, Southern Illinois Brain and Spine Center and one of its doctors after they allege the doctor performed a number of negligent acts in relation to a spinal surgery.

Jason Moreton and his wife, Kari Moreton, allege Jason Moreton underwent a left-sided transforminal lumbar interbody fusion and pedicle screw fixation on Jan. 12, 2009. The surgery, which is a type of spinal surgery usually performed on patients who experience lower back instability, was performed by defendant Dr. Joseph Yazdi at St. Elizabeth's Hospital, according to the complaint filed April 1 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

Only six weeks after the surgery, on Feb. 23, 2009, Yazdi allowed Jason Moreton to return to work, but allowed Jason Moreton to carry no more than 30 pounds at a time, the suit states.

On May 11, Jason Moreton was scheduled to undergo a revision of a portion of the surgery, this time from the right side. However, Yazdi had to abandon the surgery after finding surgical instrument contamination, the complaint says.

Finally, on June 1, Jason Moreton underwent removal of the previously placed pedicle screw/rod system and Yazdi inserted a new Revere system bilaterally into Jason Moreton's spine, the Moretons claim.

The surgeries caused Jason Moreton to develop pseudoarthritis with collapsed degenerative disk disease, according to the complaint. In turn, Jason Moreton was forced to undergo another surgery on Sept. 15 in St. Louis, the suit states.

The Moretons blame Yazdi for Jason Moreton's repeated surgeries and his pseudoarthritis, saying the doctor negligently allowed Jason Moreton to return to work too soon following his surgery, waited too long to redo the initial procedure when he knew that the original procedure was failing and did not order plain film imaging in Februray 2009 when Jason Moreton complained of significant and increased pain and discomfort.

As a result of Yazdi's treatment, Jason Moreton incurred medical costs, experienced pain and suffering, lost a normal life and lost income, the complaint says. In addition, Kari Moreton claims she lost her husband's services, support, companionship and society.

In their six-count suit, the Moretons are seeking a judgment of more than $300,000 and compensatory damages, plus costs.

The couple will be represented by Michael J. Warner of Michael J. Warner and Associates and by P.K. Johnson IV of Johnson and Johnson in Belleville.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-158.

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